Some young engineers at the University of Nairobi recently concluded the creation of Kenya’s first satellite, which will be launched in two months. Wow! isn’t this just amazing?
We learnt from HowAfrica that Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency supported the engineers with $ 1 million to fund the manufacture of the satelite.
The device described as “nano-satellite” will be used for monitoring agricultural activities and monitoring Kenya’s borders, according to the country’s authorities.
It will be sent to the International Space Station in March, before being put into service about a month later.
The nanosatellite is the first CubeSat developed under the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)-Japan KiboCUBE Programme. KiboCUBE is an initiative that offers educational and research institutions from developing countries the opportunity to deploy cube satellites (CubeSats) from the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo)of the International Space Station.
On January 16, the team from the University of Nairobi, which was selected in 2016 for the first round of KiboCUBE, handed over to JAXA the satellite it has developed, known as “1KUNS-PF”, or “First Kenyan University Nano Satellite-Precursor Flight”.
“I am pleased that the small satellite “1 KUNS-PF” developed by the University of Nairobi of the Republic of Kenya, which was jointly selected by UNOOSA and JAXA as the first KiboCUBE, was successfully handed over to JAXA. At JAXA, we are committed to making every effort to prepare for the successful deployment of the Republic of Kenya’s first satellite utilizing the unique capability of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” on the International Space Station,” said JAXA ISS Program Manager Koichi Wakata.
UoN’s engineer Dr Jackson Mwangi, who was involved in the nano-satellite development, said: “The 1KUNS-PF is the first satellite to be developed by Kenyans and first Satellite to be operated by a Kenyan University.”
The nanosatellite(extremely small satellite in the shape of a 10 by 10-centimeter cube) has the volume of just one litre. It was developed at a cost of Sh120 million and was largely financed by Japan.
With this innovation, Kenya becomes one of about six African countries to have sent satellites into space.
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